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Millionaires Ask to Pay More Tax

Accepted submission by upstart at 2022-01-19 14:45:52
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Millionaires ask to pay more tax [bbc.com]:

A group of more than 100 of the world's richest people have called on governments to make them pay more tax.

The group, named the Patriotic Millionaires, said the ultra-wealthy were not being forced to pay their share towards the global economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

"As millionaires, we know that the current tax system is not fair," they said in an open letter. [intaxwetrust.org]

The signatories included Disney heiress Abigail Disney and Nick Hanauer.

Mr Hanauer is a US entrepreneur and an early investor in online retail giant Amazon.

"Most of us can say that, while the world has gone through an immense amount of suffering in the last two years, we have actually seen our wealth rise during the pandemic - yet few if any of us can honestly say that we pay our fair share in taxes," the signatories said in the letter to the World Economic Forum.

Earlier at the forum, which is being held virtually due to Covid rather than in its normal home at Davos, charity Oxfam said the pandemic made the world's wealthiest far richer, while also leading to more people living in poverty.

Its report said lower incomes for the world's poorest contributed to the death of 21,000 people each day, but added the world's 10 richest men had more than doubled their collective fortunes since March 2020.

Research by Credit Suisse has also found that in 2020, the number of millionaires increased by 5.2 million to a total of 56.1 million globally.

The UK branch of Patriotic Millionaires said analysis by the Fight Inequality Alliance, the Institute for Policy Studies, Oxfam and itself found a wealth tax starting at 2% annually for those with more than $5m, 3% for people with more than $50m, and 5% for billionaires could generate $2.52 trillion a year.

The group claimed taxing the UK's wealthiest 119,000 people at such rates would raise £43.71bn a year.

They suggested such funds could be used to eliminate planned National Insurance tax rises to fund social care in England, [bbc.co.uk] pay for the salaries of 50,000 nurses and a permanent increase of Universal Credit.

It said globally, $2.52tn could lift 2.3 billion people out of poverty and make enough vaccines for the world.

Gemma McGough, British entrepreneur and founding member of Patriotic Millionaires, UK said: "For all our well-being - rich and poor alike - it's time we right the wrongs of an unequal world. It's time we tax the rich."

Ms McGough added: "At a time when simply living will cost the average household a further £1,200 a year, our government cannot expect to be trusted if it would rather tax working people than wealthy people.

"If they do anything in the next few months, they should do this: rather than raising National Insurance, tax the rich - tax us - instead."

In the open letter, the signatories said business and political leaders were "not going to find the answer in a private forum" and were "part of the problem".

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